Need a Loan? Turn to the Jewish Community for Help
Through JF&CS, Federation’s Jewish Loan Association gives zero-interest loans to Jews in our community and to employees of Jewish agencies on the Millstone Campus.
Bob L (not his real name) needed a loan quickly. He was working in a sales job strictly on commission. When the company began to falter after the economic recession, Bob’s sales began to stagnate and he struggled to pay monthly bills. His wife tried to augment their income with a part time day care center job. However, they still couldn’t make ends meet and defaulted on their home loan. The bank foreclosed and the family was forced to find a quick rental. But they didn’t have the funds for a first and last month’s deposit.
Bob contacted Jewish Family & Children’s Service and was able to take out a maximum zero-interest loan of $3,000 through the Jewish Loan Association – enough to cover the deposits. Currently, he and his family are living in the rental and Bob is paying back the loan. He has two years to do so. Bob’s wife and four kids are content with the apartment, which is in the same school district as their home. Now this family can move on with their lives, rebuild their credit and one day move back into a house.
For hundreds of Jewish families and individuals in our community who are cash strapped like Bob, Jewish Federation offers a safety net — no-interest loans from the JLA for those who have exhausted personal and family resources and need money for something specific such as a car repair, property taxes, rent or credit card debt. In 2012, Federation granted 16 individuals and families JLA loans totaling nearly $45,000.
If a loan is needed, here are the steps to take:
- Contact JF&CS at 314-993-1000 and ask for a Financial Assistance Intake Social Worker.
- Get a loan application form and fill it out. Clients must show a recent tax form to verify income and ability to make monthly payments and also show their most recent pay stub. They must have established residency in the St. Louis area for at least six months.
- There must be two co-signers who live in St. Louis. They have to fill out a form and sign an installment note claiming that they’ll pay back the loan, if the client defaults.
- The client is given 24 months to pay the loan back. If he takes out the maximum of $3,000, that’s $125 a month. Of course, it can be paid back sooner. There is a 30 day grace period to start paying back the loan.
It can take two to six weeks to get a loan. Confidentiality is guaranteed. These loans are self-perpetuating. Once a loan is paid back, the money is recycled to help others. After three months, the same person can apply for another loan.
Programs that help the vulnerable in St. Louis, Israel and overseas are made possible from contributions to Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign. Locally, with unemployment levels still high, more people are turning to Jewish Federation agencies and programs for help than ever before – whether job counseling, food, shelter, counsel or emergency cash assistance. And as our population ages, we are funding programs that bring services to the elderly so they may live independently in their homes and stay connected to community while getting the help they need. At the same time, Federation supports similar programs and services to rescue thousands of people in Israel and around the world whether in the Former Soviet Union where we maintain critical relief to destitute seniors through 165 welfare centers or in Israel by reinvigorating our food banks – through Leket Israel, and by supporting at-risk families, children, teens, young adults and the elderly in our sister-city region with a continuum o f special programs and services.
These are just some of the ways your gifts are put to work through Jewish Federation. Learn more at www.JBuzzSTL.org.